CVS announced it will stop selling cigarettes and all other tobacco products in its stores beginning this October.

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The company is the first U.S. drugstore to remove cigarettes from its shelves. The move is part of an overall health initiative. reports:

Public health experts called the decision by the No. 2 U.S. drugstore chain a precedent-setting step that could pressure other stores to follow suit.

CVS, whose Caremark unit is a major pharmacy benefits manager for corporations and the government Medicare program, believes the decision will strengthen its position as a healthcare provider.

"I think it will put pressure on other retailers who want to be in healthcare," said CVS Caremark Chief Medical Officer Dr. Troyen Brennan.

Although some U.S. cities, including Boston and San Francisco, already ban the sale of tobacco products in pharmacies, advocates hope CVS' voluntary decision will have a ripple effect among other pharmacy chains.


CVS said it will lose about $2 billion in annual sales and between 6 and 9 cents of profit per share this year. Analysts expect the company to report 2014 revenue of $132.9 billion and a profit of $4.47 per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

On The Real Story, personal finance expert Vera Gibbons pointed out that it only equates to 1.5 percent of total revenue for the company.

Fox News’ Jamie Colby said, “They pay so many taxes on cigarettes. They can have a greater profit margin selling something else.”

What do you think? Should more companies follow suit?